A WDesm review for XBoxHornet
“An Incredible And Expansive Galaxy Just Waiting For A Pilot”
Space Pirates from Tomorrow had a rocky start to its life – after a strong media build-up in the Indie circle, it was pulled almost immediately after launch so that a few crippling bugs could be addressed before bad PR sunk the fledgling game. It was a brave move, to be sure, as it meant that MStar Games had to hope that their positive PR hype would last until its relaunch. Now, Space Pirates from Tomorrow has been re-released, and with a shiny new polish to it, can it hold up? I’d certainly say so – the delay has taken some of the rough off the title, and offered even more to the player!
Space Pirates from Tomorrow is an over-sized overdose of epic space flight simulation, which instantly sets it apart from the regular XBLIG offerings, most of which are designed to be short, sweet, and easy-to-enjoy games – an ideal “casual gaming” repertoire. Space Pirates from Tomorrow, from the very beginning, boasted over 2000 hours of gameplay and a nearly-infinite amount of quests, combats, and adventures flying through a variety of solar systems, and it wasn’t lying. If you have ever pined for another Elite, Wing Commander Privateer or another Freelancer, then you have an opportunity to taste new space in Space Pirates from Tomorrow, and you’ll be tasting it for as long as you want.
Control-wise, SPfT is a mixed bag – spacesims are generally more complex the closer to ‘real’ physics they get, and while it’s not perfectly Newtonian, SPfT certainly takes some getting used to. The on-screen HUD and mandatory tutorial will help you out substantially, though you still need to put in some effort to survive combat. An (optional) 3-rd person is available, buried in an options pane, and for those that want the ‘over-the-shoulder’ cam, you’ll be happy it’s there.
After completing the tutorial, you are given free range to travel the current solar system, and instructions on how to warp to an incredible array of other solar systems, all with their own planets, traffic, and docking stations. These stations contain marketplaces (for trading), shipyards (for upgrades), and contract postings (for initiating quests). With so much offered ground (or should I say, “space”) to cover, I completely agree with the “2000 hours of gameplay” claim, and I’m glad that the re-release of SPfT included minor visual cues to indicate movement in space (the original version was more static, making travel seem nearly arbitrary), although the sci-geek in me is still wanting more space-themed effects, such as to-scale planets with their own gravity (and collision effects), threatening asteroid fields, and the burning radiation of a sunflare. Even without the full glory of space captured though, I’m having a blast flying around in a space sandbox, and if you’re willing to try it out, so will you.
Space Pirates from Tomorrow is an ambitious game, and if you’re willing to put in the time and patience to master its quirks and appreciate its eccentricity, you are guaranteed to get way more than your money’s worth….roughly two thousand times your money’s worth. As a bonus, if the music in the game really strikes your fancy, you can download the entire soundtrack for free here.
Game Score 7/10
Download a free trial of the game here.
To earn your free copy of the game, simply leave a comment here with a title of one of MStar’s other games (either released or upcoming) to be eligible! Out of all entrants, one will be randomly selected after Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 6pm EST (also include a way to contact you)!